Real Madrid will be without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a long time. The 31-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in his left knee during training, the Spanish football champion said.
The Belgian national goalkeeper should be operated on "in the next few days". The club did not provide any information on the duration of the forced break. Real should be active again on the transfer market - and become a competitor for FC Bayern, who are also looking for a goalkeeper.
Courtois spoke up on Instagram early Thursday evening. "It's time to accept it and do whatever it takes to overcome it and come back even stronger." The goalkeeper also posted a picture of himself on the couch at home, his left bandaged leg on a pillow and his right thumb stretched up.
Courtois was taken from the field on a stretcher at the Valdebebas training center northeast of Madrid, Spanish media wrote. The professional cried. It was "a hard blow" for Real before the start of the league on Saturday at Athletic Bilbao, headlined "AS", and "Marca" wrote of "very bad news". Courtois is one of the mainstays of coach Carlo Ancelotti's team.
The teammate of Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger will not only miss the next league, cup and Champions League matches of the Madrilenians due to the injury. Courtois will also be absent from the Belgium national team for at least the EURO qualifiers in Azerbaijan and against Estonia in September, as well as in Austria and against Sweden in October.
Search for a replacement begins
Spanish media named the Spaniard Kepa, the Moroccan Bono and Giorgi Mamardashvili from Valencia FC as possible replacement candidates. All three were recently traded as possible newcomers to FC Bayern. The number two in Madrid is the Ukrainian Andrij Lunin, who made twelve appearances last season.